Kasi business ideas

Get inspired to start your own small business in a kasi with these ideas.

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Small business ideas for a kasi

South Africans make it happen, and nothing could be truer than the entrepreneurial creativity found in every South African township, informal settlement or “kasi”. Starting your own business isn’t easy, but with the right idea, timing, patience, hard work, and support, anything is possible. 

How to choose the right kasi business idea

Ntombi, started her own Achaar and Chakalaka business in the Thokoza kasi. She first thought of selling braai meat and fat cakes in the streets of Thokoza, but too many people were doing that already. Ntombi quickly adapted and filled a gap in the local market for tasty Achaar and Chakalaka. She kept her costs low by making small batches of food and working from home.

Ntombi struggled to get the word out about her products in the beginning but she slowly grew her customer base, and now she supplies a local health shop. How did she pull that off? Ntombi is a skilled, hardworking and tenacious entrepreneur.

How did Ntombi decide which business idea to go with? She said, “Find a need in your community and something that you are good at. I chose food because people need to eat every day.

"I also know how to make food that people like. I walked around where I live, and I noticed street vendors selling fat cakes and braai meat.

"So, I needed to do something else with food. Nobody in my area sells fresh Chakalaka and Achaar. So, that is what I chose to do.”

We had a great time chatting to Ntombi and hearing what she had to say about her business.

She is now planning on supplying more shops with her delicious Achaar and Chakalaka. Ntombi had to work two jobs to get to this point, but she believes it was worth it. Find out more about Ntombi’s food business here

What about other business ideas? Entrepreneurs are heading for unexplored and lucrative kasi business areas and are making it happen with many great success stories. Be inspired by these exciting ideas to use or to come up with your own awesome business idea

Other kasi business ideas

Even though starting a business has all its challenges, township underdogs should consider delving into the following promising business areas. SME South Africa has put together interesting and useful business ideas. Explore SME South Africa’s ideas - maybe one of these ideas is just for you, or it will inspire you to come up with your own awesome idea?

Websites & digital marketing

Affordable smartphones have helped increase the number of South Africans that experience the full range of online experiences. Websites and digital marketing are increasingly important in increasingly competitive informal industries. 

Affordable smartphones have helped increase the number of South Africans that experience the full range of online experiences. Websites and digital marketing are increasingly important as businesses fight for the attention of their audience that spends a lot of time online these days.

Affordable smartphones have helped increase the number of South Africans that experience the full range of online experiences. Websites and digital marketing are increasingly important in increasingly competitive informal industries. 

Digital design and development agencies assist small township businesses with websites to promote their businesses through digital marketing. The founder of Menzion, Kabelo Selebalo, said that black professionals are the force behind this upward trend of improved services and convenience.

How about getting into food markets?

Food markets have blossomed amongst all outdoor social activities in townships countrywide. Many business pioneers have started their food markets and kitchens, catering for a young and up-and-coming crowd that combines food with fashion and music. So great is their success that major brands want to partner with them. 

Towing services to help with breakdowns

Although at an early stage, towing services in townships are emerging as viable businesses to help stranded motorists. Time is of the essence, though, so start before everyone does it.

Accommodation  Kasi mini-complexes

Young working people want privacy in bachelor or one-bedroom flats located in a secure, gated Kasi mini complex inside a township. Some apartments even have WiFi. 

The rentals are at an attractive low compared to those found in urban areas. Furthermore, they are convenient because you don’t have to leave the townships, which occur primarily near Soweto and Tembisa.

Take your washing to laundry services

Laundry services are becoming an ever-increasing popular trend in townships. The younger generations, who are after convenience, are driving in this direction. As a result, the market grows, with businesses providing delivery services in branded vans. 

Visit your local bakery

Mokgwasa Creations is a bakery that recently started in Kagiso township in Krugersdorp after the owner completed a five-week baking course.

She also hosts a weekly cake-tasting event to introduce new products into the market and get community feedback on any recipes. Mokgwasa uses a Qhubeka bicycle to deliver smaller cakes, which she obtained from a Qhubeka bike project.

For larger food parcels, she uses an Uber. Crucial to Mokgwasa’s success is the bakery’s location in the township itself. The start-up capital was about R10 000.

 Entertain with pop-up movies and popcorn

The youth can now attend a low-budget pop-up movie and popcorn facility in Kagiso.

The equipment consists of a bicycle, extension cords and plugs, a PC with internet access, a 1080 pixel resolution projector, a foldable plastic table, a popcorn machine, a white screen and an anti-theft bag.

The owner uses the cost-effective WhatsApp, Facebook, and local radio to advertise. The current location of the movie house is a garage.

Still, the owner is aspiring to screen movies at primary schools in Kagiso. This is a win-win for the school to raise funds at events and for the company to remain sustainable.

Team up to make events a success

Some entrepreneurs have started event management businesses. They collaborate with others to host community events.

These events provide a platform for creating brand awareness and extra income for small businesses.

A coffee-shop owner in Khayelitsha in Cape Town is an excellent example of this collaboration, where people are, for instance, attracted to a community-based poetry event.

Yoco can help grow your small business

Join 230 000 underdogs who choose Yoco. Any small kasi business needs to receive income. Most up-and-coming, working millennials will be using cards to make payments. This is where Yoco can assist, being South Africa’s leading mobile card machine supplier. The Yoco Go card machine will cost you a once-off R299, while the more superior Yoco Khumo card machine costs R699. The Yoco point-of-sale (POS) software comes free with all card machines. 

Are you now ready to come up with your own business idea and that you can make it a successful reality?


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Want to sell in person, online or both?

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